I love tea and when I hear that an author loves tea too I just have to ask them onto Linda’s Book Bag. It gives me great pleasure, therefore, to be staying in today with fellow tea drinker Rook Winters!
If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.
Staying in with Rook Winters
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Rook and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought The Branch Office, my first novel. I figured the technical books I wrote for programmers might be a bit boring for a night in.
(Oh, I don’t know. Er…, yes, you’re right. The Branch Office sounds much better!)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Branch Office?
I usually tell people it’s a blend of humour, despair, satire, and 80s nostalgia. At the centre of the story is a band of co-workers at a tech company. Anyone who’s worked in an office has experienced loads of bizarre habits and absurd behaviour, but the tech industry takes it to a new level, which makes it a fun backdrop for a novel.
(Having worked in a local authority open plan office I can heartily agree – though I hope the bizarre behaviour wasn’t my own…)
Don’t worry, though, the book’s not twenty-five chapters of people sitting around talking in an office. That would be a bit tiresome.
It’s a modern-day setting but one of the characters is obsessed with the 1980s. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, so it was a bit of personal indulgence to weave in some of my favourite things from that time into the story. In the book, it’s tacitly tied to the psychological baggage of the character, but for readers it’s been a fun way to reminisce a little. Well, those who remember the 80s at least.
(I remember them well Rook – I’m not quite as old as I look!)
What else have you brought along and why?
A few things. I have a box of doughnuts, which is a must-have treat when talking about The Branch Office. The first doughnut shows up on page 2. This will save a doughnut run later in the evening when the inevitable cravings set in.
(Oo. Haven’t had a doughnut in years. You can stay in with me again!)
I also have a few bottles of craft beer for Beer 30, an end of the week tradition for the characters in the book. They normally tap a keg but that seemed a bit excessive for an evening in.
(I think we could give it a go though…)
The company softball team is a fun element in the book, so I brought a softball. Might be a good idea to hide it once the beer’s out, though, so we don’t risk breaking a lamp or something.
(I quite agree. Especially with my sight problems and non-existent hand/eye coordination. I’d like some of my home left intact after you’ve left.)
Thanks so much for staying in with me to introduce The Branch Office Rook. I’ve really enjoyed our chat – and the doughnuts!
The Branch Office
A novel that is part tribute and part lampoon of office life. You’ll nosedive into absurd behavior, quirky personalities, Silicon Valley excess, 80s nostalgia, personal loss, frustration, unrequited infatuation, company softball, and, of course, doughnuts.
Luke is young and stuck at the bottom of the career ladder but he doesn’t intend to stay there. The grizzled programmer in the next cubicle has been working on the same software for decades and just wants to stay off the radar of the executives.
Unfortunately, the corporate agenda is at odds with their hopes and dreams, and you know what they say about sticking your neck out too far…
The Branch Office is available for purchase here.
About Rook Winters
Rook Winters has worked as a software developer, corporate trainer, and technical writer so he is well-acquainted with the ups and downs of spending day after day in an office. His first novel, The Branch Office, isn’t autobiographical but it taps into the humor and despair of office life in a way that’s only possible after spending thousands of days in the land of cubicles.
Rook is also the author of several short stories based on the same characters in The Branch Office.